(File pix) A view of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has endorsed the Transport Ministry’s Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan 2016-2025. Pix by Mohd Fadli Hamzah

KUALA LUMPUR: The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has endorsed the Transport Ministry’s Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (Asean Transport Strategic Plan) 2016-2025.

The plan pursues the goal of a single aviation market and greater air connectivity for facilitating business and leisure travel for Asean citizens.

IDEAS believes that with the launch of Asean Single Aviation Market, it will create a healthy competition and give airlines more freedom to conduct international flights within Asean.

“This will create more opportunities for airlines to expand by opening more flights between their home bases and other Asean cities.

“Individual travelers as the main consumers can look forward to enjoy cheaper airfares and having more airline choices when decided to travel in Asean,” it said.

Director of Research IDEAS Ali Salman said air transport for economic development continues to be one of 12 priority areas in the establishment of the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

He adds that liberalising transport links is crucial to knocking down barriers to connectivity and trade in the region.

“Intra-Asean total trade itself reach US$ 543.75 Billion in 2016. This proves that Asean has a significant potential to benefit a lot for open skies policy through trade in goods between Asean member countries.

He said it is time for Asean countries stay the course and remain committed to realising the dream of a unified and single regional aviation market.

“Full implementation of the policy would translate to lower air fares, airline industry growth, and more jobs. Realising this and committing towards the building of the Asean Community Carrier in the near future will be a game-changer for the region", he said in a statement today.

IDEAS recently represented Malaysia in the 15th Asean Air Transport Technical Sub Working Group Meeting at Vientiane, Laos.

The meeting was called as preparation for the upcoming meeting of Transport Ministers taking place in Singapore in October.

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